Every year around Thanksgiving, debates arise regarding stores’ decisions to stay open or to close their doors on the holiday. This embattled issue inspires many to voice their opinions on the ethics of store managers maintaining operating hours – or even imposing longer hours of operation – as so many view Thanksgiving as a time that is meant to be spent in the company of loved ones, not spent working. There are many opposing ideas on what the appropriate balance is between work and leisure during the week of Thanksgiving, but the decision largely comes down to the impact and influence of seasonal marketing and sales opportunities.
There is a strongly-backed ‘Don’t Shop on Thanksgiving’ movement in America that declares that it is wrong to force employees to work on the holiday because families should be able to spend it together. This is position that many can sympathize with. A Facebook page called “Say No to Shopping on Thanksgiving” has accrued almost 67,000 likes, while the similarly themed “Boycott Black Thursday” has almost 120,000. Undeniably, there is a group of the population that does not support stores staying open on Thanksgiving.
On the other hand, many believe that stores remaining open benefit both customers and employees. Walmart, Macy’s, Target, Gap, and Sports Authority are just a few giant retailers that stayed open on Thanksgiving Day this year. Many people do plan on shopping on Thanksgiving to purchase the goods they need for the holiday and for the end of year holiday season at temptingly low sale prices. Further, some employees do not mind working on Thanksgiving and earning money; after all, working on Thanksgiving is nothing new. Employees traditionally receive bonuses and increased payment for the time they work on any holiday.
For many stores, choosing to be closed on Thanksgiving is a clever marketing move. By doing this, retailers are demonstrating their family-first policies. Stores closing on Thanksgiving honor the holiday by allowing their employees to have time off to be with family – this can resonate with shoppers who approve of this business decision. Really, aside from giving employees time off for a holiday, closing on Thanksgiving is a strategic play to tug the heartstrings of like-minded consumers. Businesses have taken to promoting the fact that they will close on Thanksgiving, heralding their all-American character and their generosity of spirit.
This very well might be a debate that has no real resolution. Both sides of the issue have valid points, whether their basis is on upholding family values or the need to earn a living. Whatever your stance may be, we hope that you and yours had a very happy Thanksgiving!
Photo credit: Business 2 Community